Tulsa Ranked Low For Tech Friendliness
"I feel very comfortable with where Northeast, Oklahoma and Tulsa happens to be in the technology world right now," said Jim Fram of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.
So comfortable, the chamber just sent out a flyer this week touting Tulsa as a leader in high tech jobs, while riding the high of a great headline in the paper.
"Just last week we announced 500 new jobs for financial services at Verizon, I promise you there's going to be a lot of technology used in that process," said Fram.
And perhaps nowhere in Tulsa is technology used as adroitly as Avansic.
"We do a lot of corporate investigation, this is the forensic analysis, the stuff you see on CSI, we're digging to find out what a user is doing on machines," said Chris Noel.
And what's more, 90% of their lab technicians come out of local educational institutions.
"We've recruited young talent through the university of Tulsa, Tulsa Tech, OSU-Tulsa," he said.
But that's the mountaintop, meanwhile down in the valley.
"Most of our equipment is 5, 3 to 5 years old, which in these times is considered way out of date," said Dr. Sheila Riley, principal of Eugene Field elementary.
Not that it had to be that old, as a News Channel 8 investigation revealed last year, the city let a $2.4 million IT grant slip through its fingers. The program would have provided 235 laptops to school kids, free Internet service for the low-income, and benefited nearly 7,000 people. As it is now, TPS is looking a new type of bond initiative.
"It will earmark money specifically for technology in Tulsa public schools, which will help us a lot in preparing students to go out and be ready for the real world.," she said.
Tulsa's tech friendliness; pockets of excellence, room for improvement, but bottom of the barrel?
"I don't consider Tulsa to be in that bad of shape," said Noel.